Premier League entertainer Sir Cliff Richard has been chosen by FIFA to referee Sunday's World Cup final in Johannesburg.
Sir Cliff, who has taken centre stage at Wimbledon on several occasions, is seen by some as the surprise choice to officiate in such a high profile game and will be the first Englishman to take charge of a final in over 30 years
Sir Cliff, on holiday in the area at the time, had offered to sing a medley of his greatest hits during the final, having suggested 'Miss You Nights' for the penalty shoot-out and 'Congratulations' during the medal ceremony - but quick thinking FIFA officials stepped in to avoid any controversy by awarding him the match itself.
Talk of moving the final to middle of the Kalahari Desert to avoid any chance of rain interrupting play have now been shelved following the news Sir Cliff will now be out in the middle here instead.
The news of Sir Cliff’s involvement in the final has seen the sale of vuvuzelas rocket in recent days, especially here at home in the UK where supporters huddled around their TV sets are taking no chances.
Vuvuzeals once considered the bane of this World Cup are now regarded as the ‘must have’ accessory for any self respecting football fan. They have already been successful in stopping other entertainers from any impromptu and unwelcome performance, notably from Mick Jagger who has been spotted at several matches over the past two weeks.
All ticket holders for the match are being urged to prepare for the worst and those without a trumpet will not be allowed in.
FIFA were quick to point out that the ‘Living Doll’ souvenir effigy of Sir Cliff being sold outside the ground was not actually official World Cup merchandise although the large pins being given away free with each vuvuzela were.
When asked about his thoughts on South Africa since the fall of apartheid, a delighted Sir Cliff told us ....’it has been remarkable, things have been so different since the end of segregation and the introduction of equal rights, but I’m sure if they could just get rid of Nelson Mandela it’s not too late to go back to the way it was’.